Pop Culture

Mushrooms in general have long appeared in art, literature, and legend. Often the species of fungi is not identified, and when Amanita shows up, it’s often A. muscaria, the flashier relative of A. phalloides. Because of its deadly nature, A. phalloides sometimes appears in crime fiction. In Ruth Rendell’s short story “Shreds and Slivers” (1994) a man plots revenge against his wife. Kate Atkinson slips a few bits of A. phalloides into a man’s soup in Human Croquet (1997). And in legend, any number of notables were supposedly poisoned by A. phalloides
For more information on mushroom poisoning in fiction and legend, see R. Gordon Wasson’s "The Case for Claudius or Mushrooms for Murderers" published in Botanical Museum Leaflets in 1972